I am about to join the ranks of countless other Americans. Got the van. Got the kids. Got the passion. I will soon be an official soccer mom. Everything about that title makes me cringe....scares me. I don’t want to be carting my children around from one organized activity to the next. I don’t want to live with my butt in an uncomfortable bleacher seat. I don’t want to make all new friends with all the other catty soccer moms. I had visions of piano lessons, musicals, and theatre events. I was supposed to take someone shopping.
But that is not the direction we seem to be heading. My husband has successfully passed on his enthusiasm for soccer even though he claims our children can choose whatever they want. How can I deny my son this one thing? Besides, if I am at all honest with myself, then I have to admit I’m getting a little giddy about the whole thing.
I went on-line and did the research, printed out the appropriate forms, checked the schedule to our family calendar....it will all work out.
Our oldest is ready! He’s been playing soccer in our living room since he was old enough to walk. The greats have played here. We have frequent matches between Fernando Torres and Steven Gerard. There are penalty kicks. I sit and watch. I cheer and beam. He does his moves and then asks, “Did you see that?” It is a vicious cycle of pleasing one another. I’m pleased that he’s so happy with himself and he’s happy watching me praise his passion for the game. Good feelings abound in our safe, living room.
Of course, there aren’t any real opponents. The games always end the way they are supposed to. The good team always wins. They might be down 3-0, but in the end they will be victorious. If the opponent, his younger brother, gets in the way, someone was off-sides. Calls always seem to go in his favor.
I think we are ready for the next stage. I think we are ready for this world of soccer to become a real and tangible passion. I think he wants to be part of a team. He’s watched enough real games to know there is something more out there waiting for him, and I think he’s at the age where if the calls don’t go his way he’ll be fine because all he’ll have to do is look over to the woman in the mama shorts and know he’s loved, adored, and loved regardless of the final score or the obnoxious mother sitting next to me shouting in my ear.